Sunday, July 19, 2009

43. Isis by Douglas Clegg

#43

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Title: Isis
Author: Douglas Clegg
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 113
Publisher: Vanguard Press
Author Website: www.douglasclegg.com
Format: ARC from publisher
Available: 9-29-09
Rating: 3/5 stars
Finished: 7-18-09

A slim little volume whose cover and tag line caught my eye, Isis is apparently a prequel of sorts to Clegg's Harrow haunted house saga (which I will admit to having not read, much less heard of). The story is about the Villiers family who has moved to their ancestral home in Cornwall after the father has gone off to war. The family consists of Iris, twins Spencer and Harvey, older brother Lewis (who has gone off to school) and their mother and lunatic grandfather. Iris and Harvey are closest and are rarely seen apart. The estate gardener, Old Marsh, likes to fill their heads with the stories, legends and folktales from around the area; particularly about the burial grounds, or Tombs, of the Villiers family. One such story goes that you musn't make wishes or threats in the Tombs, as the dead will answer you, and then you must pay a debt to the dead.

After a time, there is an accident, and Harvey is killed while trying to save Iris from falling from a window. In her grief, she runs to the Tombs and asks that her brother be brought back to her, and he does come back, but with consequences. By the time I finished the story, all I could think of was W. W. Jacobs' The Monkey's Paw and the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for." Not knowing any background of the rest of the series that Isis is taken from, I have no idea whether or not this is a good background for these characters, but based on this book alone, I probably wouldn't pick up the rest of the series. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't that engaging for me.

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